WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Hope”

Grace

*Grace

“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize that He is able to carry out His will for me. It does not matter where He places me, or how. That is for Him to consider, not me, for in the easiest positions He will give me grace, and in the most difficult ones His grace is sufficient.”      ~ J. Hudson Taylor

“A prominent Old Testament word describing God’s grace is chesed. This word speaks of deliverance from enemies, affliction, or adversity. It also denotes enablement, daily guidance, forgiveness, and preservation. 

Praise God for His unmerited favor! We do not deserve His grace, but He freely offers it when we are in need. It is not something we earn through works but rather it is a gift. Often this wonderful gift is tied up with a pretty ribbon called hope.

When we find ourselves in the middle of a trial, God’s love reaches out and covers us with undeserving grace. It shields us from the evil one and enables us to persevere. Adversity can wear us down, but God’s grace is and always will be sufficient. It will invariably carry us through the darkest of nights. At all times, it will shine through with victory and see us into a new day. And with that new dawn, the promise of hope will strengthen and encourage us to continue forward in our spiritual race.

We easily forget that God should be glorified in ALL circumstances. This is often accomplished during personal moments of weakness and times of testing. Christ makes what we deem impossible, possible. For His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

By the grace of God, we are forgiven and enabled to fight the good fight. Grace is a guiding light and helps during times of confusion. It equips us for every battle that lies ahead. This precious gift tears down every fleshly anxiety, for with grace we understand HE is able to carry out His will and purpose no matter where He places us.

Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain the mercy and help we need during difficult and dark times. God will faithfully restore our hope, and by His strength we will weather every storm that He sees fit to send our way. By His grace, we are able to persevere and grow in our spiritual maturity, learn more of His love and mercy, and comfort others who are weathering storms of their own. Indeed, these brothers and sisters will be encouraged by the grace we were given. Knowing that God helped us through will assure them, He will also see them through their trial.

Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

“And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 (NKJV)

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”     1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV)

“Grace, then, is grace, that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting.” ~ Alexander Whyte

 

A Biblical Attitude of Hope

*anchor

Where does your hope come from and where does it rest? Is it in the economy or political system? Is your hope resting on your career or financial and social status? Have you placed your hope in your spouse or even in your kids? Hope is where your confidence lies. The only secure and lasting hope is found in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul understood this fact as evident in how he opens the book of 1 Timothy. The very first verse states, that Jesus Christ IS OUR HOPE.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.” 1 Timothy 1:1 (NKJV)

Abraham also understood that his hope had to rest in God. With a mighty promise the Lord spoke these words to Abraham ….

“By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—  blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.  In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”      Genesis 22:16-18 (NKJV).

Abraham means “Father of a Multitude.” But it was not until he was 100 years old that his child Isaac was born. Can you imagine introducing yourself with such a name and not have a single child to boast about? To see the promises of God occur, we must trust the character of God and His faithfulness to His Word. God cannot lie and as there is no other name above His, He swears an oath with His own name.

In Hebrews 6:17-18 God reveals His determination to give THE HEIRS of this promise a solid hope by reminding them that He is UNCHANGABLE. In a world that is always changing, the promises of God never change. He cannot lie.

Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

AND

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)

Therefore, we can take comfort in knowing our hope, found in Jesus, is our refuge. We all suffer from trials and tribulations and become refugees at some point in life. We look for comfort and help so He is that “Strong Tower” we must run to for protection and strength.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)

Hebrews 6:19 draws an analogy between our hope in Christ and an anchor. Our hope rooted in Christ is an anchor for our soul, the seat of emotions, our will, and the mind. An anchor is that sure and steadfast presence that keeps us steady and safe in the most turbulent of storms.

During a tempest, the anchor of a sailing ship is deployed to the depths of an ocean floor. It keeps the ship secure so it won’t crash against rocks or get lost at sea. However, the anchor of a Christian is not tossed to the watery depths found on earth. No, instead it is cast high above into the heavenly realm where God the Father abides. Our hope is in Christ. Christ is our anchor. Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father in HEAVEN. Therefore, our hope is in heaven interceding for us both day and night. He does not sleep.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

We have a secure line to our anchor in the throne room. It is made of supernatural twin. But to enter into the hope God has promised, we must FLEE TO the place of refuge. Yes, on our knees we must seek His face and ask for His help. To receive the blessings of God we must exercise our faith, trusting in His love for us and in His plan to give us a hope and a future. Hope is the confident expectation of coming good. This is a strong consolation based on the very character of God. God is love.

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” John 4:8 (NKJV)

MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES. WHERE YOU HAVE PLACED YOUR HOPE?

“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:11 (NKJV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
 And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
” Psalm 57:1 (NKJV)

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” Proverbs 14:26 (NKJV)

“For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” Isaiah 25:4 (NKJV)

* SPECIAL THANKS to Pastor Eric Cartier of Rocky Mountain Calvary. His sermon on Hebrews 6:13-20 inspired this devotion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkMapZB8qMk

MY HOPE IS BUILT

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness seems to veil His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood:
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound,
O may I then in him be found.
Clothed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before his throne.

Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874) and others
Music by Francis Blight (PRS)

 

A Cup Full Of Hope

*Cup of Hope

How do you see your cup, half empty or half full? Do you predict the worst will happen in any given situation or are you well practiced at finding the Silver Lining? Is your hope resting on Jesus and His love for you? Hope should never be swept under a rug. It is what moves us through our day.

“Look at your problems in the LIGHT of God’s power instead of looking at God in the SHADOW of your problems.” ~ Anonymous

God knows His children well and understands our need for encouragement so He wrote a book full of inspiration, promises, and fortification. According to (bibleinfo.com) there are 3573 promises in scripture. If we claim one promise every day, it would take almost ten years to read them but once.

“Let us read the Bible reverently and diligently, with an honest determination to believe and practice all we find in it.” ~ J.C. Ryle

A visual reminder of God’s promised faithfulness can be seen after a storm. It comes in the form of a rainbow. After the great flood, God created this colorful symbol to encourage Noah and his family. It is a continual sign commemorating God’s covenant with mankind and His promise to never again cause a flood that destroys all life. The next time you see a rainbow remember God is in control.

“I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13 (NKJV)

Jeremiah 29:11 speaks about God’s plan for us and it is not one of disaster and hopelessness. He promises us a hope and a future. However, His plan will include adversity. Such times serve as our training ground in spiritual matters while good times provide us with rest. Both seasons are opportunities to reflect on the faithfulness of God.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

Our perspective regarding storms should be that they are necessary and beneficial gifts. They are private refinement sessions with God. Although the discomfort experienced during our sanctification process is often great, His grace is even greater. Learning to rest during our seasons of testing will produce an inner calm of patience and peace. Others will notice the growth in our character and God will be praised.

Why do we doubt God and His GOOD plans for our future? Why do we forget the incredible love He has for us? Why do we question His plan? Like the ungrateful children of Israel wandering in the desert, we become unsatisfied with the manna He provides and cry out for meat. We forget His provisions are what we NEED. Discontent never improves life, instead it consumes our thoughts and leads to bitterness.

The next time you find yourself tempted to complain about a matter, pause and ask yourself, ‘What will my grumbling accomplish? Will my words inspire and uplift others, or will they cause discouragement?’ Will any good come from your state of mind? If not, make a decision to change your perspective.

Find something (there is always something) to praise within the circumstances you perceive as unfair or offensive. It will be a challenge at first but with a little practice, it will get easier to identify the good all around you. After adopting this new practice you will discover you have a happier state of mind.

Seeing your glass as half full will provide you with enough hope to advance through the darkest of storms. That is the power of a grateful heart. That is the power of a thankful heart. That is the power of a positive perspective. That is the power of God.

“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:       I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” Genesis 12:9-15 (NKJV)

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9 (NKJV)

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

“We ought not to limit God where He has not limited Himself.”  ~ Jonathan Edwards

“The outlook is gloomy, but the uplook is glorious!” ~ Unknown

A Positive Perspective of Hope

*Rainbow

How do you see your cup, half empty or half full? Do you predict the worst will happen in any given situation or are you well practiced at finding the Silver Lining? Is your hope resting on Jesus and His love for you? Hope should never be swept under a rug. It is what moves us through our day.

“Look at your problems in the LIGHT of God’s power instead of looking at God in the SHADOW of your problems.” ~ Anonymous

God knows His children well and understands our need for encouragement so; He wrote a book full of inspiration, promises, and fortification. According to (bibleinfo.com) there are 3573 promises in scripture. If we claim one promise every day, it would take almost ten years to read them but once.

“Let us read the Bible reverently and diligently, with an honest determination to believe and practice all we find in it.” ~ J.C. Ryle

A visual reminder of God’s promised faithfulness can be seen after a storm. It comes in the form of a rainbow. After the great flood, God created this colorful symbol to encourage Noah and his family. It is a continual sign commemorating God’s covenant with mankind and His promise to never again cause a flood that destroys all life. The next time you see a rainbow remember God is in control.

“I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13 (NKJV)

Jeremiah 29:11 speaks about God’s plan for us and it is not one of disaster and hopelessness. He promises us a hope and a future. However, His plan will include adversity. Such times serve as our training ground in spiritual matters while good times provide us with rest. Both seasons are opportunities to reflect on the faithfulness of God.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

Our perspective regarding storms should be that they are necessary and beneficial gifts. They are private refinement sessions with God. Although the discomfort experienced during our sanctification process is often great, His grace is even greater. Learning to rest during our seasons of testing will produce an inner calm of patience and peace. Others will notice the growth in our character and God will be praised.

Why do we doubt God and His GOOD plans for our future? Why do we forget the incredible love He has for us? Why do we question His plan? Like the ungrateful children of Israel wandering in the desert, we become unsatisfied with the manna He provides and cry out for meat. We forget His provisions are what we NEED. Discontent never improves life, instead it consumes our thoughts and leads to bitterness.

The next time you find yourself tempted to complain about a matter, pause and ask yourself, ‘What will my grumbling accomplish? Will my words inspire and uplift others, or will they cause discouragement?’ Will any good come from your state of mind? If not, make a decision to change your perspective.

Find something (there is always something) to praise within the circumstances you perceive as unfair or offensive. It will be a challenge at first but with a little practice, it will get easier to identify the good all around you. After adopting this new practice you will discover you have a happier state of mind.

Seeing your glass as half full will provide you with enough hope to advance through the darkest of storms. That is the power of a grateful heart. That is the power of a thankful heart. That is the power of a positive perspective. That is the power of God.

“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:       I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” Genesis 12:9-15 (NKJV)

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9 (NKJV)

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

“We ought not to limit God where He has not limited Himself.”  ~ Jonathan Edwards

“The outlook is gloomy, but the uplook is glorious!” ~ Unknown

Where Does YOUR Hope Come From?

*Hope

“Without Christ there is no hope.” ~Charles Spurgeon

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; My hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV)

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7 (NIV)

Where do you find hope, and in what shape or form does it rest?

I say to you now that absolute and genuine hope is found only in Christ Jesus. He is never far way and always within your grasp. He expects you to seek Him, but when you do He is quickly found. Only upon your discovery of Christ will you recognize the desperate condition of your soul, and through glorious and supernatural revelation, comprehend that it was this living Hope who graciously discovered and delivered you.

In Christ, our soul can rest. He is our one true defense. Under the shelter of His wing, we are encouraged to hide from troubles. A strong tower and shelter, a necessary fortress available when enemies attack, God is…. and always will be, our saving grace and eternal hope.

Because He wants to fellowship with us, we are encouraged to enter into the holies of holies. Yes, before His very throne we can share our heart with utter frankness and unmitigated honesty. Without fear we can stand before Him, in all our defilement and sin, and ask for forgiveness. Furthermore, we should approach the mercy seat with confidence for we have the blessed assurance of His grace, mercy and forgiveness. For this incomprehensible gift of hope, let us now give Him thanks and praise.

There is no hiding from the One who knows and sees all things. He designed us for His good pleasure and He knows how each one of us ticks. It is senseless to hide our flaws and weaknesses from Him. He is fully aware of each one. Neither is there any point in concealing our thoughts from God. He knows every one of our notions, emotions, and ideas before we have formulated them inside our brains. He considers all of His children precious and of great worth, despite our many flaws, fears, and shortcomings. Because He finds pleasure in our existence, let us celebrate and rejoice in hope.

His love has no boundaries, for this may we be eternally thankful. He loved us before time itself and before we even knew Him. His love is higher than the stars and deeper than any ocean. It is unfathomable, this love of God, and I believe it is mankind’s greatest treasure. In His love, we can rest in hope.

God is love and that love never fails. Love, thus God Himself, covers a multitude of sins. Love is patient and kind and long suffering. Who cannot find hope in these facts?

Jesus calls us His beloved! He tells us we are His Bride! We are the children of the one true and living God, the all powerful Creator of the universe. How can hope be absent if we take time to reflect upon these truths?

Will you reach out and grab these words of hope today? God is your rock and salvation. Storms will toss you, but He will hold you securely in His arms. You belong to the King of Kings. You are His treasure! You are His beloved! Place your hope in Him and you will never be the same again.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; My hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)

Hope

Strong:Hope In Lord TL

In his song STAND, Rich Mullins wrote, “There is more that rises in the morning than the sun.” He knew that with each new day there is the gift of a new beginning, one brimming with promise. 

Anticipated desires, which we expect to occur, are called hopes. God hears all of our prayers and petitions. Therefore, our hopes are certainly obtainable so long as they are aligned with His perfect will. Through the refining process, God transforms our selfish desires into His perfect ones. The desires, dreams, and hopes planted in our hearts will mature and grow with time, eventually bearing the fruit that serves His glorious purpose.

 There is great joy to be had while holding hope in your heart. Sometimes this hope is a secret matter between you and the Lord, shared with no other. How precious these special thoughts and intimate conversational moments! To meditate on a desire not yet fulfilled, with glorious anticipation, is a blessing. Waiting on the fulfillment of this hope is an experience few learn to savor. Don’t let doubt or impatience rob you of this opportunity to draw near God in a new and intimate way. 

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)

God’s gifts are always more wonderful than we can imagine. His blessings are beyond our imagination or comprehension. Why not ask for those things that would please your heavenly Father? Wait for His will and desires to be revealed. Patiently hold on to your hope but trust Him to transform and purify every one of your desires. Thus, as you delight yourself in the Lord the desires of your heart will be granted… for His hopes will have become your own.

While trying to cope with life struggles, hope will help to spur us on in our spiritual race. With hope our perspective changes. We remember to look upwards to our eternal home where our Creator resides and rules. With hope, we once again remember that our present circumstances and troubles are for but a season. Placing our hope in an all-powerful God, trusting Him to guide and strengthen, will provide the necessary encouragement we need to witness and share God’s love. 

As we walk through life, in good times and bad, hope will always remain within our reach. Even better than a friendly neighbor or close friend, hope never disappoints for it is rooted in Christ Jesus. Our Savior is faithful and true, forever encouraging His children onwards in their race towards eternity. It is only when we forget He has already conquered the grave and that the victory has already been won that we become weary. His resurrection IS our hope and it should propel us through every hardship, test, and trial.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (NKJV) 

With fleshly eyes we look at our storms and falter. But with spiritual eyes we are able to face our fears, for we are made aware of the heavenly hosts engaged in battle on our behalf. No storm or trial should be overwhelming. God has promised to provide whatever we need to withstand every test. So, it is when our eyes are focused on our circumstances…. And not God…. That we falter and loose hope. 

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us” —Samuel Smiles 

Will hope carry you through today? Will the victory won on the cross of Calvary inspire you to serve and share your faith with others? Are the hopes and desires in your heart aligned with God’s perfect will and purpose for your life? Are His desires your desires? 

Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Savor your time of reflection and take joy in the hope that springs eternal. He has conquered the grave. His precious gift is our salvation. Praise be to our living hope and King. Bless His holy name. 

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. “  Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. “ Romans 12:12 (NIV) 

“If I Stand” by Rich Mullins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=5Jj0ZTzgmGM 

“There’s more that rises in the morning than the sun                                                                                          And more that shines than just the moon 

If I stand let me stand on the promise that You will pull me through                                                              And if I can’t let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You

And if I sing let me sing for the joy that is born in me this song

And if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home.”

 

 

 

Hope Radiates In The Dark

Be Strong All Who Hope in God Ps 31

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.” ~Anne Lamott http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2009/01/Hope-Quotes-from-Christian-Leaders.aspx?p=2

Unexpected storms often knock us flat and the testing of faith can leave us exhausted. Our will to persevere may even be hindered. This is when the hand of God will appear to lift us out of our dark waters. All we have to do is cry out His name. He is the very definition of hope.

The Lord takes pleasure in all who hope and trust in His mercy. He waits for His creation to cry out to Him. He longs to show us mighty love and strength. However, we can’t give up and surrender all hope if we want to receive His assistance.

“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, 
in those who hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:11 (NKJV)

Hope is born in the dark. Like a lighthouse calling out to a lost ship at sea, hope will bring you through your personal storm. It will encourage and guide you to safety. Hope is found in the arms of God.

“Be of good courage, 
and He shall strengthen your heart,
 all you who hope in the Lord.”  Psalm 31:24 (NKJV)

When you are met with spiritual roadblocks don’t forget to call out for God’s help. He will bind all your confusion and guide you through each obstacle. His provisions will be incredible. Any lost hope will be restored when you witness the faithfulness of God.

Unfortunately, loosing hope in God means you have lost some measure of faith in His ability to sustain you. Have you lost sight of who created you and the universe? Do you doubt His ability to work things out and enable you to carry on in life?

Why not give God the benefit of the doubt and trust that your circumstances are for good and not for evil? In some way He is creating good fruit from your circumstances, though pain may be His watering can in your situation. We are promised in Romans 8:28 (NKJV) that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Dear One, I know suffering and I know heartache. None of my sorrows have been easy but they have served me well. Through the furnace of affliction God allows His children to share in the sufferings of Christ. Our spiritual transformation and refinement will always produce a deeper measure of spiritual fruit. Are we not called to be more and more like Christ?

Therefore, ask yourself this question. Do you want to live as an alien in this world, as a foreigner in a land that is not your eternal home? If so, then accept the storm you are riding out as a gift from your Father. He sent it because He loves you. It should remind you that your greater hope waits for you in heaven.

God did not spare His own Son the suffering of the cross. It was for our benefit that Jesus became man, died, and rose again. God sent Jesus to redeem us and has exalted Him in the heavens. He is our Victor and blessed Mediator.

Take your burdens to Jesus and pour out your heart. He is the Savior of the world and our only hope. Ask Him to be your guiding light as you attempt to stand and move forward through your storm. Your struggle will have an end but His love for you is never-ending.

To persevere is to ascend the mountaintop of God. It is a necessary trait, a requirement if we wish to see the face of God. 

 “But I will hope continually,
 and will praise You yet more and more.”  Psalm 71:14 (NKJV)

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
 and in His Word I do hope.”   Psalm 130:5 (NKJV)

“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer”  Romans 12:12 (NKJV)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13 (NIV)

God Is In Your Darkest Hole…Helping You Out

Donkey Image

I came across this story and had to share it with you. Life has both good and bad times but there is always HOPE. Hold on to your faith! Trust that God will provide the strength, ideas, friends, and means to bring you through your  trial or testing. He is all you need!

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. 

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. 

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. 

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off! 

MORAL :

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive. 

2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have. 

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

The Humility Found In Christmas

Xmas

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NKJV)

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:9-12 (NKJV)

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33 (NIV)

Amazing!

Jesus left His home in heaven, His eternal fellowship with Father God, and became man for the sake of all mankind. He dwelt among us! Because our transgressions had separated us from God, we needed a Redeemer. Yes, we needed somebody who would stand in the gap and mediate on our behalf. Only through the death and resurrection of His only Son could God call us His adopted children, and once again offer us the hand of fellowship. Oh, PRAISE the holy name of Jesus! 

God planned the birth of Christ even before Adman and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden. He knew they would be tempted and deceived by the serpent. I am sure God’s heart broke when sin was birthed in the paradise He had created for them. 

The humble emergence of baby Jesus, often remembered at Christmas, gives us insight into the heart of God. He did not pick a wealthy couple of immeasurable means to care for His son. He did not pick a mighty man of power or a famous and prominent woman to raise His son. Instead He saw the quiet and sincere faith of both Joseph and Mary and selected them for the honor. An honor that was both costly and painful. But because of their humility, they were also to become special examples of God’s grace.

“ But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
 but gives grace to the humble.”” James 4:6 (NKJV)

Humility is important to God. Take note of Christ’s place of birth, a stable. God provides for all our needs, so Mary was not forced to give birth to the Son of man in the wilderness. No, a warm stable that was out of the elements was God’s provision. This humble environment was the place God chose for our Deliverer to enter the world…. But why? There must be a reason! 

When we are in need, there is a greater urge to call upon God and rely on His provisions. Because Mary accepted the honor of being the Mother of Jesus, she faced much ridicule and doubt from her community….even from her betrothed. She fell upon the grace of God and in her humility He smiled and provided.

When God’s son was about to enter the world, He again saw Mary’s needs and provided a warm and safe place for the birth. He did not provide a wealthy establishment or mansion. It was to rural shepherds that angels appeared and announced our Savior’s birth. This act shows God’s concern for His people, regardless of social class and vocation. We all matter to our heavenly Father.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners, yet there are both rich and poor sinners. Again I ask, why did God give Jesus such a humble birth and life, especially since leaving heaven was already a sacrifice of humility beyond our comprehension?

We find the answer in Scripture. 

By reading Philippians 2:3-9 we see the importance of putting others first, esteeming them better than ourselves. God wants us to be concerned with the needs of others. This is one way to grow in love. In addition, we are told to have a mind like Christ. Jesus was humble and therefore, we too should walk in humility for it pleases our Creator. Jesus humbled himself by becoming the Son of man, taking on even the appearance of man. Because of His humble obedience at the cross, God has rewarded Him with a name above all others.

Humility gives God glory. He created us for fellowship but also so that we might glorify His name. When we live humble lives, whether we are rich or poor, we honor God. By putting the needs of others before our own, we are demonstrating the true love of God. This love is the light within us that should not be hidden under a bushel. The reason Christ came into this world was so that all men/women would be saved. We could not ask for a better role model.  The humility of Christ is wondrous. http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Birth-Jesus

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38 (NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” Philippians 2:3-9 (NKJV)

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 (NKJV) 

Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 (NKJV)

Hope Lives In The Dark

*Hope Brite In Darkness TL 339 DPI

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.” ~Anne Lamott 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV) 

Be of good courage, 
and He shall strengthen your heart,
 all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24 (NKJV)

“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, 
in those who hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:11 (NKJV) 

Hope is born in the dark. Like a lighthouse calling out to a lost ship at sea, it will safely bring you through your personal storm. It will encourage and guide you to safety. Hope is found in the arms of God.

When an unexpectant storm hits, it may feel as though you have been tossed into a ferocious squall. Relentless waves make their assault, reaching up to pull you under. Breathless and exhausted, waves of despair rob your will to persevere. This is when the hand of God appears to lift you out of your dark waters. All you had to do was cry out His name.

The Lord takes pleasure in all who hope and trust in His mercy. He waits for His creation to cry out to Him. He longs to show us mighty love and strength. However, we can’t give up and surrender all hope, if we want to receive His assistance.

Perseverance is strengthened during storms that test our faith. To persevere is….

To read the rest of this devotion please go to http://facingtrials.com

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